Pharmaceutical industry in Japan - Statistics and facts

The pharmaceutical market in Japan has shown small growth rates in the past years. A complex regulatory and pricing process, as well as the regular price cuts have made it difficult for pharmaceutical companies to introduce new innovative products. Another reason for the stagnant market is the promotion of generic drugs adopted by the government since 2007 in order to reduce the healthcare expenditures in Japan. The volume share of generics has almost doubled during the last decade and is still on the rise. Moreover, as many drug patents expire in the near future, Japanese companies are forced to adapt to a changing market environment.

However, the Japanese pharma industry remains one of the largest, after the U.S. and China, with a share of approximately ten percent of the world market. While the market in Japan is subjected to a transformation, it offers a variety of opportunities and potential for growth. The aging society and growing life expectancy have led to a high demand for medical treatment and will be a key driver for future developments. Additionally, the Japanese government has been working to reduce long approval processes for new products faced by pharma companies, which will also have the positive effect of attracting foreign companies. But not only international companies seeking to invest in the Japanese market, also growing pharmaceutical exports from Japan will help strengthening the pharma industry.

Along with the changing industry landscape and the flourishing market for generic drugs, the projected transformation of the Japanese pharma industry will be driven by the increased use of biosimilars that are expected to be the fastest growing sector in the future with a variety of products currently under development. While biopharmaceuticals account for about one third in the world market, products make up only around ten percent in the Japanese biopharmaceutical market, indicating potential for growth.

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Pharmaceutical industry in Japan

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